At a conference I recently attended in Austin, Texas, one speaker was an expert on pensions across the United States. After listening to him it was quite apparent that the defined benefit plans such as ours with the TRB are being attacked nationwide. Many states are switching to defined contribution or a hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution arrangement. One state dropped pensions entirely. This is why we as an association must be forever vigilant regarding any changes by the legislature concerning our pension and health care account. We must let our representatives in Hartford know we are watching.
It is extremely important that you contact your representatives and senators and let them know that teachers comprise a huge number of the electorate. If our representatives do not receive calls and letters they will naturally assume that changes to our pension and health care will go unnoticed. We must be proactive and not wallow in a false sense of security.
This brings me to the issue of membership in ARTC. Strength in an organization depends on numbers and the number of retired teachers in Connecticut is far greater than the membership in ARTC. We need your help in growing our association. If each one of you would recruit just one colleague to join, it would go a long way toward keeping our group a force to be reckoned with. The officers and those sitting on the various committees have been serving for a very long time and we must have newer retirees to step up if we are to continue as a viable organization.
Yours in Service,
Ed Messina, President
Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut